New and Collected Poems, 19701985

David Ignatow, Author Wesleyan University Press $19.95 (349p) ISBN 978-0-8195-6174-9
Ignatow's ironic, spiky voicereassuring and doubting at onceis an abiding presence in American poetry, and this 360-page collection samples his strongest work. His forte is the short, quirky, conversational, free-verse lyric which juxtaposes personal problems and political realities (""It is heartrending to know a kiss/ cannot cure the world of its illness''). Prose poems explore a nightmare world between dream and reality, where Idi Amin's massacres seem like everyday occurrences; the prose poem is also a vehicle to tackle larger questions (``Why did they think it was necessary for me to be born?''). Like Whitman, Ignatow is one with the lonely bird alighting on a branch, the dog choking in its own grief. The gulf that separates each of us from our true selves, the failure of the carnal as a route to the spiritual are themes explored with wry humor in a voice purified by experience. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1986
Release date: 06/01/1986
Paperback - 332 pages - 978-0-8195-5169-6
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